Alisa Rodriguez takes home LPGA Professionals National Championship title at Kingsmill Resort
The top-eight finishers earned exemptions into the 2022 KPMG PGA Women’s Championship at Congressional Country Club.
In her first LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddie appearance, Alisa Rodriguez (Austin, Texas) earned the Championship division title, shooting a final-round 70 to finish at 5-under overall. Rodriguez made the turn tied for first with first-round leader Allie Knight (Knoxville, Tenn.), but two birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 helped her secure the victory.
“I was definitely a little nervous teeing off. Just couldn’t make putts at first – had a lot of good looks and just nothing was going in, and eventually made some on the back, so that was a huge push,” said Rodriguez. “Allie was playing amazing golf. She had three birdies on the front nine and I wasn’t making anything, so I was just trying to stay patient and stick to my game plan: don’t try to do anything that I hadn’t been doing this whole week. And it paid off.”
Rodriguez, a teaching professional at Balcones Country Club, is looking forward to returning to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The top-eight finishers in the Championship division earned exemptions into the 2022 KPMG PGA Women’s Championship, to be held June 21-26 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. “I teach a lot of juniors and everyone honestly, so I know they’ll be excited to see me on TV again,” said Rodriguez.
Knight finished in solo second at -3, with defending champion Stephanie Connelly Eiswerth, LPGA/PGA (Fleming Island, Fla.) finishing alone in third. The 2022 LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddie is slated to return to Kingsmill Resort on August 28-31.
Along with Rodriguez, Knight and Connelly Eiswerth, the rest of the Championship division’s top eight have earned their spots in the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club: Sandra Changkija (Kissimmee, Fla.), Ashley Grier (Villanova, Pa.), Jennifer Borocz (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ashley Tait (Morrison, Colo.) and Meaghan Francella (Wilmington, Del.)
Rodriguez, Knight, Grier, Connelly Eiswerth and Changkija all competed in the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Atlantic Athletic Club after finishing in the top eight at last year’s PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The 2020 LPGA Professionals National Championship was canceled due to COVID-19.
Borocz last appeared in the major championship in 2020. Francella, a former Tour player who won the 2007 MasterCard Classic after defeating Annika Sorenstam in a playoff, will be making her first start in the KPMG Women’s PGA as an LPGA Professionals member. She last appeared in the major in 2013, where she missed the cut. She recorded her career-best result in the event in 2010, a tie for seventh. Tait will be competing in her first major championship.
“It’s going to be really good to play another major championship. Each one is special; they’re all a little bit different. Hopefully next year we’ll be able to have some friends and family come out, but I’m really excited to go back,” said Connelly Eiswerth, who will be competing in her third-straight KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “The experience is just something you can’t explain until you get to do it yourself, but it’s really fun to experience that with family and friends and students back home.”